When a page is 'turned' the Reader's display refreshes or changes with reasonable speed, though the transition 'flash' from black-on-grey to grey-on-black and back again as it does so makes it seem slower than it is.
Did we say reasonable speed? Well, for moving from one page to the next, yes. But for flipping back from say page 235 to page 45 because you forgot what one character said, or to flip back and forth to any maps you have forgotten to bookmark - vital if The Lord of the Rings ever comes out as an eBook - it's really just a little slow and cumbersome.
Expanding the built-in 192MB of memory is easy
On the plus side, the Reader remembers where you are in any book you have opened, so to get back to the same place just 'open' the book, hit the 'continue reading' button and bingo.
A curious feature of the Reader is that even though its knows the day and date to access said data, you need to navigate away from the page you are reading and all the way back to the main menu and then access the Settings tab to find out this information. Common sense should surely have dictated putting the day and date in the black status bar at the bottom of the page where there is ample space.
Because the screen draws no power when not in transition, the Reader's battery life is pretty impressive 7000 “page turns”, according to Sony. As ther's no real way to test this that doesn't involve you reading this review three months hence, we'll restrict ourselves to saying that after a week of heavy use, and playing a good few music files, the battery is still showing a 75 per cent charge.
The Reader supports a pretty broad array of e-book files, including EPUB eBook and BBeB Book – with and without DRM – as well as PDF, MS Word and .txt files.
The Reader will also happily play back MP3 and AAC files, though it lacks the whit to store albums and tracks in any sort of order other than pure alphabetical-by-track-title. It renders album art quite nicely though, albeit in black and white.
Got my mum one of these, she doesn't see the point of technology normally, but she absolutely loves her Sony E-book reader! She can also zoom in and out so she can read this without glasses. Only thing is there's no backlight to speak of, but the battery life makes up for it.
If you think the e-books are a rip off, this thing can understand PDF, RTF, Word documents and .lit files so just get your e-book from one of the free sites like Project Guttenberg and you're away, or are the classics and Steven King not your thing?
By my maths, I will have "broken even" in a few months!
what abt this?
But if the display is so good...
why do all these readers seem to display black-on-grey, like the cheaper 'pulp' style paperbacks you get the bargain bin at Booksale, rather than crisp white, like a quality hardback?
feed me books
Thanks for mentioning feedbooks. I hadn't heard of them before.
I just wish I had something nicer to read my downloaded book on than my big clunky thinkpad.
A non-Sony Sony product
I received mine last week and I have used it a least 3hrs a day.
I haven't even bothered to install the Sony software, so I've probably missed the worst part. If it is as bad as Sonic Stage then I can understand the dislike.
What has changed at Sony? You can copy a text file to the device through Windows explorer and it just works. I have played around with RTF, changed the font & size. Arial 14pt works well. I hope Sony does not decide to lock it down like the Kindle...only works with Amazon, or so I hear.
So what if a new model is released in the US next month, it will probably take a year for it to be released in the UK.
The black flash of the transition from one page to the next is to clear the page and prevent ghosting. I don't notice it anymore. This is a limitation of the technology, later versions will improve. Does anyone remember the first monochrome LCDs? Slow refresh, ghosting? I think these are at the same stage.
I used to use my HTC touch Dual for everything, Jack of all trade, master of none. I now have an iPod, a Tom Tom and now a Sony PRS-505.
The lanscape option is usefull if you load graphic novels (AKA Comics)